Carmelo Anthony? Coming off the bench? Surely not. Except, apparently, maybe.
Most expected Anthony would bristle at the idea of joining the Houston Rockets’ second unit after his reaction to doing the same for the Oklahoma City Thunder. At Monday’s media day, though, he sounded half-open to considering the transition, per ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon:
“At the end of the day, we’re all going to camp to figure out what works in order for this team to try to win a championship,” Anthony said at media day Monday, a day before the Rockets open training camp in Lake Charles, Louisiana. “If that time comes, we’ll have that conversation. My goal is to go into training camp, be the best player I can be, be in the best shape I can be and do what I have to do to help this team get over the hump and win a championship. That’s all it is.
“All the questions of coming off the bench, I don’t want to answer those questions at the end of the day. Whatever I have to do to help this team win a championship, that’s what’s going to be done.”
There was also this cryptic comment, per ClutchFans:
Carmelo Anthony on the possibility of coming off the bench. "I haven't had that conversation with anybody yet. I'm very clear on what my role is."
— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) September 24, 2018
Anthony’s thoughts about the value of training camp seem more telltale than anything. Now is the time for he and the Rockets to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps he has been brought in under the assumption that he will have a chance to crack the starting lineup. And maybe that opportunity is enough for him. This way, if the Rockets decide it makes more sense to come off the bench, he’s at least had some say in the decision.
Granted, this is all speculation. The Rockets could just start him, or he could simply push back on the idea once it’s broached in a more serious manner. Whatever his role ends up being in Houston, though, it’ll no doubt be worth monitoring into the season.